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Messages - Zazzle

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76
Hi there!

Summertime... always full of activities and I somehow lost track of checking for reports. Mea Culpa.

I was able to receive the beacon the other day. I sent you a message with a link to some recorded audio.

Thank you a lot! I read your mail today. A QSL card will be send out within the next couple of days.


I'm located in New Hampshire, USA and was listening to your beacon starting about an hour before local sunset and your signal was always there but battling with the thunderstorm static. Typically I could copy 30% to 50% of the CW. I have a 200m beverage antenna pointed at Europe (built for 160m but works very well on 48m).

Also big thanks to you. I send you a mail, asking about details and whether you'd like to receive a QSL card as well. :)

Kind greetings,
~Zazzle..

77
Hi there!

Eh. THAT took a while. After becomming aware of the fact that not only the PSU had gone faulty I somehow had a hard time getting my ass up and look at the issue. Eventally I had a look and, well, it was a fix that took only 5 minutes. The protection Z-Diode on the collector of the driver Transistor had gone short.

We had several big summerstorms recently. With a lot of lighning. I guess a parasitic stray field from a lightning strike nearby made it go short. It's a 33V Diode and the amplitude of the HF hardly reaches the 10Vss peak.

Replaced it. Works again.

Brought the Beacon back on air on Tuesday night.

Kind greetings,
~Zazzle

78
The RF Workbench / Re: Beacon Project #2 - 500mW, 10m Band
« on: September 08, 2016, 1042 UTC »
Hey there,

I picked the project from the shelf last weekend and had a look at it. Eh. I dumped the board and started anew on a DIY epo-board.

After I spend quite some time on reading hard theory on frequency multiplication during my recent holidays I decided to go with a different approach.

I also settled on the frequency I'm gonna use.  Found an x-tal with 13.612.500kHz in my junkpile. Makes 27.225.000kHz (CB Channel 22) in the end. I go with that. Since the output power will be approx 1,5W it won't cause local issues. Especially since it'll not operate near to homes.

I'll attach a picture when I turned the test-thingie into a nice board. :)

Kind greetings,
~Zazzle

79
Hi!

Jop! Like suspected, the PSU broke down. Something caused the fuse to blow. It's odd. The EMI-filter on the line-input looks like it had to endure high currents. The insulation on the copper wire bubbled up.

Hadn't a closer look at the issue so far. But regardless of the cause, the PSU will be replaced entirely.

Greetings,
Zazzle

80
The RF Workbench / Re: Beacon Project #2 - 500mW, 10m Band
« on: July 05, 2016, 1005 UTC »
Hey Josh!

Zaz, if it's going to be on a tower, is there any way you could shunt feed the tower itself as your antenna?

I decided against. Too far away. It's always a 60km trip when I want to try something. Also, for 10m there's a lot of small and effective antennas. Hell, even a dipole is small and can be done with stable steel rods. :)

But I had ideas about shunt feed the tower before. Once, I had some half-drunk discussion with a friend and we were joking about feeding that tower on the 80m band with 100W.

There's a sketch we did back then (see it attached).

But after I read literature about I had serious doubts. Literature says that impedance matching is tricky.

What's your experience with that? I'm quite interested in this kind of antenna. :)

Kind greetings,
Zazzle

81
Heyho!

Had a look at the project yesterday and started working on it again. Found a mistake I made in the circuit note - and of course I've build the circuit that way. Let's see whether fixing it brings the project on track again.

Also, I made my mind about the tower thingie. No Tower. To far away and to annoying in case I've to fix stuff. I'm going to install the project on the old air field close by (which is a nature park so no one will run over the area which means it's pretty safe from being damaged by idiots).

Also, I'm gonna make this one finally all Solar powered. A friend of mine gave me several 12V/7Ah Lead Acid Batteries whichcome with at least 60% of remaining capacity. I'm gonna glue and connect them in parallel. Nice batter ypack for fee. Also, I got a broken (front glass) 240W PV panel that still outputs ~150W.

I've calculated that I need about 2,7Ah per day. Works fine with a 150W panel. Also during winter.

Since I'm gonna use the 10M Band I could also stpp broadcasting during night.

Anyway, I keep you updated. :)

~Zazzle


82
Heyho,

Eh! Noticed a bug in the firmware. It sends "52W" instead of "25W". Lucky me, that I kept the TX-Box hidden on the ground this time. The controller is fittet into a socket, so I can replace it without big trouble.

Also the first reports came in. Made my day. :)

I wonder when the first oversea reports will arrive.

Greetings,
Zazzle,

84
Hey,

oh, and this is how the TX-Unit looks like. I'm gonna take photos of the whole setup during day another time.

Greetings,
Zazzle

85
Phew! What a night!

Finally! I found time (and motivation) to install the Beacon and get it on air.

It's operating on 6.398,5kHz.

To be honest, I wasn't that motivated to spend (again) hours over hours on the roof, trying to get the best SWR. Besides the fact, that the PSU died on me when I was almost done, I also spend too many hours with finding the perfect match with the Balun and Antenna length.

I had the setup installed in my garden before. But due to it's length (almost 22m) I had trouble running the wire Dipole high enough without getting it caught in trees. Back then it got already obvious, that adjusting it will be another pain-in-the-you-know-what.

I tried to fool myself by believing it'd go easier on the roof because there's no trees around and I could work with the already installed support poles. Well, it didn't get that better. Maybe I cut the wire some centimetres too short (well, shouldn't have that much of an effect on 40m anyway) or it's just about the plain fact, that the height of 3m is just too low for the frequency. Especially since the ground is highly conductive. You remember... metal construction.

In the end I put the antenna up and down another 7 times. Until I was that annoyed that I settled with a SWR of about 2.5. Not awesome, but f** it. I got 30W so I can waste some. The SWR-Meter says FWD: 55W, REF: 10W. The Chassis where the MOSFET is mounted to stays almost cool. So. Ehh....

What annoyed me like hell (and made the night one I'll be laughing about in a few months) were those people walking around on the ruin yard. Suddenly, I heard people walking and talking in low voices. It's funny how fast a calm mind switched to paranoia mode. They were just some kiddos walking over the yard but after that every loud noise made me freeze. And, believe me, things that hardly make a noise during the day become quite loud during night. Damn, Duct Tape is pretty loud when it's been unwound. Not to mention all the animals moving in the shrubs near the roof on the ground.

Anyway! It's on air. I could already receive it on two WEB-SDRs
  • - Bedfort, England: 05:45 UTC
  • - Twende, Netherlands: 05:75 UTC

Greetings,
Zazzle

86
Hey!

Did you make some tests on frequencies near to 6400 kHz? (...)

*Looks at the date of your post and his calendar* Yes! Very likely! If it was in the hours around midnight, it's very possible. :)

Funny thing that you happen to caugh me on those few rare minutes where I had it on air. :)

Greetings,
Zazzle

87
Hey.

Bite my a$$.

Found time, installed the setup. Of course I had, again, issues with the SWR. I've expected such, given the low frquency, low antenna height and metal based roof construction.

But then, just when I was done with the annoying antenna issue, Murphy decided to join and the 15V Notebook PSU, that powers the whole thing, decided to go FUBAR fo no reason. Yeah, thank a lot.

I still got some more at home, but I wasn't rewarded with a working setup yesterday - after all the work I put into.

So, do it again, Sam.

~zazzle

88
Heyho,

Board after cleanup.

Did some fun-testing:

- 60W Po, 81% effiency.
- 30W Po (nominal value): 86% effiency.

Kind greetings,
Zazzle.

89
Hey,

the test passed without problems. Froze it almost to death and heated it up to 90C several times. Steady operation. So I'm gonna install it next weekend. As long as the weather stays steady. I'm looking forward to that. :)

Kind Greetings,
Zazzle

90
Hey,

Ops. The Beacon has ceased operation.

I couldn't hear it yesterday so I had a look at the setup. To my reliev, I found everything in the state I left it last timne. Nothing got stolen and/or vandalised. Since I had no instruments with me, I coudln't run tests (i.e. checking if power was still present). I'll do that on the upcomming weekend.

I suspect it's either a problem with the power cable or with the PSU inside the beacon. CW-Operation is a lot of stress for SMPS PSUs and I wouldn't be surprised if it broke (again).

Well, let's wait and see.

Kind Greetings,
Zazzle

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